Elliott I. Committed Suicide and Had a Sister Dorothy . . .
The impetus for Telling Sonny, scheduled for release by Adelaide Books in December 2018, came from a scribbled note from my mother after my father died in 2000: “Elliott I. committed suicide and had a sister Dorothy.” (My father was Elliott Francis; his father was Elliott Irving.) I found it such an odd juxtaposition of facts that I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I wrote a poem, “My Father’s Side of the Family,” using that sentence as the first two lines, but it kept rattling around in my head until I finally decided I had to go in search of Elliott I. myself.
Telling Sonny is the story of a son who became an afterthought, told by a mother who had once loved the vaudeville show.